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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by amjustice, Sep 14, 2006.

  1. david4788

    david4788 New Member

    25
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    May 19, 2007
    Ellicott...

    You really don't need to pay for the HD at $6.95. CR adds that because they just don't understand that you are not using their box. If you talk to one of the managers you should be able to get that removed if your using a TiVo. I have the digital starter package that includes the 1 m-card. No other fees at all.
     
  2. Brad Bishop

    Brad Bishop Member

    285
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    Sep 11, 2001
    Atlanta, GA
    I did the same thing. I picked up an external WD 1TB HD from Circuit city ($200 + taxes after rebate) and then took my current 1TB Hitachi drive and put it into my TiVo HD (Thanks WinMFS!).

    Since I did it after the fact I should be set if/when that Hitachi drive fails. I'll just copy the original again and be back up and running.

    I thought I had read a 'restart after upgrading' and/or a 'clear and delete after upgrading'. I did both just to be safe and had forgotten that you lose your Logos until the next software update (I likes the logos). Anyway, I'll live without them for now.
     
  3. Brad Bishop

    Brad Bishop Member

    285
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    Sep 11, 2001
    Atlanta, GA
    Do you get non-local HD channels if you don't pay for the HD package?

    Like AEHD, National Geographic HD, Discovery HD, etc?

    I know you get local channels in HD as part of anything (unencrypted QAM) but you can't really tell if you need the HD package after that.
     
  4. pl1

    pl1 Active Member

    1,256
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    Jan 17, 2007
    MA
    Watch out with Clear and Delete. That can wipe out the cableCARD pairing. http://techdigs.net/content/view/46/42/
     
  5. david4788

    david4788 New Member

    25
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    May 19, 2007
    Ellicott...
    Sure do! I asked for HBO for 6 months for "pain and suffering" so I get all the HBO including HD without paying for the HD package. That is really for a HD only box not the actual signal.
     
  6. Luke M

    Luke M Member

    371
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    Nov 5, 2002
    Is it really necessary to take 'digital starter' to get the CableCard? Or did you take 'digital starter' because you actually wanted a cable box for VOD?
     
  7. david4788

    david4788 New Member

    25
    0
    May 19, 2007
    Ellicott...
    I had extended basic, but to get the digital chanels plus the card it cost me a wopping $1/m more to go to digital basic. So I guess the answer to your question is, yes, as far as I could tell.
     
  8. c3

    c3 TiVoholic

    3,067
    0
    Sep 8, 2000
    Silicon...
    Not in my area. Limited basic + $1.79 for two cards.
     
  9. Luke M

    Luke M Member

    371
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    Nov 5, 2002
    And this gives all the digital channels (SD and HD) corresponding to the limited basic analog channels, right?
     
  10. c3

    c3 TiVoholic

    3,067
    0
    Sep 8, 2000
    Silicon...
    yes
     
  11. Luke M

    Luke M Member

    371
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    Nov 5, 2002
    Out of curiosity, is ESPN included in limited basic on your system, and if so, do you also get ESPN HD?

    (It is here...and ESPN HD is unencrypted)
     
  12. c3

    c3 TiVoholic

    3,067
    0
    Sep 8, 2000
    Silicon...
    ESPN should be part of expanded basic, not limited basic. The limited basic HD channels include the local broadcast channels only. Other HD channels require at least digital classic.
     
  13. nedeveritt

    nedeveritt New Member

    5
    0
    Nov 19, 2006
    Bel Air, MD
    I got my TiVo HD running last week with 2 S-cards and dumped the Comcast DVR. So I started looking into how much this switch was going to cost me. Reports vary widely on the level of service required and fees associated with the cable cards.

    Pre-TiVo Billing
    56.95 - Digital Starter
    11.95 - DVR (SA8300 HD)
    68.90 - Total not including taxes

    Quoted Rate with TiVo
    68.95 - Digital Services
    5.95 - 2nd S-card
    74.90 - Total not including taxes

    I just couldn't figure out how they arrived at such a high number, so I called to investigate. I was told the minimum package available for cable cards was the Digital Services package. This included a cable card and HD. Then a fee for the second card.

    After a lengthy discussion, I was transferred to a local rep who told me the same thing. However, she was willing to give me a 14 dollar monthly discount for 1 year, which lowers my bill to 60.90 plus taxes.

    When I mentioned others in the area (like david4788 in Ellicott City, MD) that have the same h/w running on the Digital Starter, she was surprised by this since we are all on the same system in this MD region. She put me on hold to ask tech support about this, and came back saying the Digital Services package I have was required to keep the cable cards. I could probaly call again and get a totally different explanation.

    So for the next year, I'm content with this level of service and the 14 dollar discount. Its 8 dollars less than my Pre-TiVo rate, which will offset the monthly TiVo rate for 3 years prepaid.

    But why are the local policies and billing so inconsistent? The service requirements vary. Comcast local charges 5.95 for the 2nd card, even when the corporate website states a regulated fee of up to 1.91. They have no idea what you are talking about when you mention it to them, just "I don't have a code for that".

    How do you get through to these folks? Maybe things will improve in the next year. One thing is for sure, I'm very glad to be back on TiVo.

    Thanks,
    Ned
     
  14. dr_lha

    dr_lha New Member

    27
    0
    May 13, 2005
    Central PA
    Update: So far 4 calls to Comcast 2 truck rolls (one this morning) and still no scrambled channels.

    This morning I had the pleasure of having 2 Comcast Engineers at my house. Sadly they both seemed a bit clueless with the TiVo (clearly they had never used one before, not a good sign). Anyway - they were not the problem. The guy on the phone was the problem, he just seemed totally incompetent. They tried to put a new M-Card in the system but he could get it paired, all he kept saying was that the Host-ID was already paired to another card. My helpful suggestion that this was probably because he didn't remove the previous card from the system was met by more confusion and "I just don't know what to do".

    So the guys left my house with me in no better situation, and they came to early to have a 3 way call with TiVo. They're supposed to be working on the problem today, but who knows how they will fix it if the guys don't seem to understand how to set up the system in their computer. Hopefully the guy will manage to get hold of someone higher up to explain it to him.

    Not best pleased. I'd switch to Dish in an instant, but right now Comcast is the only way I can get locals in HD (I don't even get HD OTA, let alone on Dish or DTV).

    They promised to call me by the end of business today, but I've heard that promise from Comcast before.
     
  15. PSXBatou

    PSXBatou New Member

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    Aug 3, 2007
    Sacramento, CA
    Has anyone had a easy time with Comcast? I am starting to get a bit freaked out now. I just ordered a TiVo HD from Amazon, it will be here tomrorow, Comcast will roll out next Friday.

    From the person I talked to on the phone they said my bill should go down in price since i no longer have the HD DVR. The first Cable Card was free and the 2nd was 1.50/mo. Of course Comcast CSR's aren't always the sharpest knives in the block.

    Would it make it easier if I just stopped by the local office and got two Cable Cards myself? I remember when I had a grounding issue caused by their box outside my house (Hum bars on all HD channels and some SD Channels), it took them months to rectify the issue and I ended up putting in a Monster Cable PowerCenter HTS 2000 MKII in place to solve it faster.

    I am now feeling a bit apprehensive on my purchase as I really dread going through hell with Comcast again.
     
  16. tj722

    tj722 Gagdet Geek

    111
    0
    Feb 15, 2003
    Washington, DC
    To follow up on my Comcast install, I also have had billing problems.

    After my hassle getting the CableCARDs installed, I finally got my bill. It was about double the usual amount.

    The DVR charge was still on there. I immediately called CS and they told me they had no record of a tech coming to my house and taking away my DVR, so they had to still charge me for it (and the associated remote). They said that unless I produced a receipt for it, I would be charged for the DVR replacement (~500 bucks). I was basically treated like I was trying to steal the box!

    The next day, I went to the Comcast DC office (which is a PAIN to get to), waited in a long line (certainly my cable fees do NOT go to customer service) , and showed the rep my receipt. She took off the DVR and remote charge.

    But there were more problems. The installation of the CableCARD caused my monthly charge to go UP by about 13 dollars. I asked the rep at the office what the deal was and she told me my promotion had "ended" and that I had to pay the full rate. I did not think that it was a coincidence that my promotion ended on the very same day I had the CableCARD installed. I was furious, but there was nothing I could do. Even if I went back to the Comcast DVR, I would have to pay the new rate. She even told me I should look at it as if it were an "upgrade." :mad:

    I also asked to have my install fee refunded since I had to go through so much hassle to fix all of this. Of course, that was futile. I decided to leave before they started charging me for a DVR again.

    After all the adjustments, my new rate puts my monthly bill about the same as it was before TiVo. So much for it paying for itself. :rolleyes:

    One of the lessons learned is to make sure you have a receipt for all equipment that you receive and give back to the cable company. I know this should be standard procedure, but I've never really thought about things like that till now. Unfortunately, for me, my receipts for the CableCARDs are very confusing (lots of scribbles as the tech tried new/different cards), so I fear I will be dinged with a replacement CableCARD fee at some point.

    I do not know how a "normal" everyday user (e.g., one who does not even know about forums like these) could ever endure such an experience. This is probably exactly what Comcast is thinking.

    Someday, I will have a choice of cable providers. Until then, I am stuck with this horrible company. :(
     
  17. TiVo Troll

    TiVo Troll Registered Troll

    1,164
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    Mar 22, 2006
    Comcast's billing structure is as confusing as any I've ever seen. Apparently the $5.95 you're being billed is really an Additional Outlet Fee.

    Here's Comcast's FAQ on the issue.

    If a Comcast customer only subs to $15 Limited Basic with 1 HDTiVo there's no addtional Comcast charge. Comcast includes HD simulcasts of OTA channels in its Limited Basic lineup. There's even a trick to enable a single S3 on a Comcast Limited Basic account to achieve the same thing w/o an extra CC charge.
     
  18. btwyx

    btwyx Substantive Member

    11,331
    0
    Jan 16, 2003
    Mountain...
    I don't think its possible to have an easy time with Comcast but my last install was about as easy as it gets. The first appointment was 2 weeks out from when I rang up, but when the guy finally arrived he put the cards in, call in the numbers and the cards just worked.
    That's the way its supposed to be according to the Comcast website, thought the price of the second card has gone up to $1.79. The biggest problem is getting them to not charge you for an "Additional outlet" which is $6.99. When I got my first S3, I got a "free" cable box along side it, they charged me the A/O fee, that's not free by my definition, so it went back. With latest install the A/O fee again appeared, but there was also a credit for the cable box I don't have to offset that, so I just pay the $1.79 for the second card.
    It would, but my system won't let me.
     
  19. Brad Bishop

    Brad Bishop Member

    285
    0
    Sep 11, 2001
    Atlanta, GA
    One of the things that suck is if they can't/won't get an M-Card working for you.

    This is what happened to me. They tried two M-Cards. One was assigned to someone else and they didn't have the technology to assign it to me. The other was just a bad card (I think they just hosed it up but they deemed it bad).

    Finally they put in 2-SCards and got it working. So now because of their screw-ups, I'm likely going to be charged an addtional $2/month that I really don't need to be charged. I'm left with the choice of either fighting with them and, likely, not getting it taken off. Calling them up again and hope that they'll bring an M-Card and get it working + that I'll have to pay some stupid truck-roll fee. Or just giving up and realizing that it works now and best to leave well-enough alone (I'll take this choice).

    Just sucks that I get bilked out of $2/month when it's their fault.
     
  20. PSXBatou

    PSXBatou New Member

    21
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    Aug 3, 2007
    Sacramento, CA
    You would think there would be laws/regulations somewhere to prevent them from doing the stupid things I've read on this and other forums. Companies get too large and then lose sight of the fact that Customer Service means something.

    Anyhow, sorry for the OT rant. I am going to run to the local office at lunch and see if i can get 2 cable cards from them. I would rather have 1 mcard, but to be honest I am quite afraid they won't know the diffference between a m and a s card. Actually, I don't either, does it say mcard/scard on it usually?
     

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